Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Election of 1792

I haven't been able to find much on the information on the presidential election of 1792. As far as I can see, George Washington was unanimously elected. The real race was for the Vice Presidency between future president John Adams and some guy named George Clinton of New York.

Apparently, the campaign between Adams, the Federalist, and Clinton, the Democrat-Republican, turned ugly and personal, even more so than Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's despicable campaign against his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai. Evidently, George Clinton went after Adams' wife, Abigail, calling her "a bad mamma jamma" and a "funky dog, nasty dog," even going so far as to refer to the future first lady as an "atomic dog." Abigail Adams responded with the words, "Well, I never," and also advised George Clinton to "go funk himself."

To counter the Hamiltonian call for a national bank, George Clinton ran under the Democratic-Republican proposal of "One Nation Under a Groove." When asked what actions Clinton would take if a national bank was ever instituted, he replied. "Tear the roof off the mothasucka." His campaign slogan was, "Vote Clinton, For the funk of it." He consistently told his audiences, "We need the funk. We gotta have the funk."

John Adams became the Vice President once again and would later win the presidency. But George Clinton had the last laugh, becoming Vice President under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. In his first address to the nation as Vice President, he exclaimed, “I told you my funk was the best!” It's amazing how different the political process was back then.

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